With “Astray”, Martin Lechner offers us another enigmatic and superbly entertaining game of deception.
Powerfully eloquent, funny and expressive, the novel tells of Lars, a school drop-out who evades military service in favour of community service in the workshops of a psychiatric hospital. There, Lars finds refuge from his mother, whose abusiveness is worse than that of any raging patient. This is also where Lars meets Hanna, a patient who swiftly gets him tangled up in all manner of delightful scuffles, but whose radical attitude soon takes on a threatening scale. Was it her who torched the workshop leader’s car? How long before the flames of their passion also devour Lars’ fragile attempts to find his place in the world? And can those who’ve gone astray ever find their way back to an orderly life?
First published in 1977, “Wer war Edgar Allan?” marked Peter Rosei’s literary breakthrough. An enigmatic game of deception, it is also a rapturous homage to a deeply autumnal Venice and to Poe, the master of cryptic storytelling. Sympathetically adapted into film by Michael Haneke in 1984, the novel combines hallucinatory delirium with precise societal diagnosis. A drug-addicted student roams through Venice, a shady Contessa falls from the roof garden of her palazzo, a drug syndicate quietly rules behind the scenes, and a mysterious gentleman by the name of Edgar Allan seems to be pulling many dark strings. This new edition features Walter Pichler’s cult cover and makes the post-war classic available to a wide readership once more.
With no illusions but plenty of empathy, Peter Rosei explores the hardships of searching for happiness in the current times.
Lena from the Styrian village, Andràs from the Hungarian tower block and Eva Bartuska from the Czech town of Brno have all come to Vienna seeking happiness and fulfilment. They drift through the city propelled by the promise of social and economic betterment and the dream of true love. But what is this prized happiness? Sometimes it's a branch manager position, sometimes a wild night out, and often a flimsy illusion that shatters on the rocks of everyday hostility. Yet in this novel on the myth of happiness, Rosei strikes an uncharacteristically conciliatory tone. “And so, those who come eye to eye with the degradations of life and abandon all hope, ultimately still have a right to the happiness they long for.”
Arzt’s narrative instantly sucks the reader into the turbulence of the day on which the “annexation” of Austria was decided on.
It’s April 1938 and student Karl Bleimfeldner returns home to vote against the “annexation” to Nazi Germany – the only dissenting voice in the village. The area is in a state of political frenzy and Karl’s daring action leads to repercussions. Rumours spread. The family falls silent. An overexcited mob sets out to confront the traitor in the woods. In “Voice of Dissent” Thomas Arzt acutely hones in on the 24 hours of April 10, 1938, during which the National Socialists succeeded in seizing power over Austria. Arzt tells the story of his great-uncle – in a feverishly restless tale about conformism, cowardice, hopelessness, fanaticism and resistance.
The doorbell rings at the 4th floor apartment of the Marboe family. “Something’s up with Tobias!” “Yes, he’s in the next room. We’re just getting the guest room ready for him.” “No, something’s up with him down on the street!” Since that afternoon of 26 December 2018, life for the Marboe family has never been the same. What happened to Golli Marboe is the worst that can happen to a father. Your own son or daughter committing suicide is a taboo subject even today. Marboe has written this book to his son Tobias. In it, he looks back on the first year following the tragedy. Were there signs he should have recognised? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent it? “Notes to Tobias” illustrates a father’s struggle to come to terms with what has happened, but it is also full of love and strength and the courage to carry on.
“Your Turn” will make you laugh and cry – just like real life.
Three lovable outsiders search for their place in the world. Agnesa, an 18-year-old Vienna city girl with migrant background who left school without qualifications, computer nerd Eduard, whose midlife crisis has turned him into a stalker in the wilds of the world wide web, and Felicitas, a feminist who’s still fighting the good fight at 69, even though she has followed her true love into the province. Their paths cross and they soon realise that life is better when shared, even if it means that some dearly held falsities have to fall by the wayside. Writer and performer Mieze Medusa has enjoyed years of success on the poetry slam circuit. Now she’s delivered a novel that combines humour and warmth with its very own language to capture the voices of today.
Pilgrimage, retrospective and clever resume – a must-have book for all Brandstetter fans.
In his “Life Journey”, Alois Brandstetter recounts the remarkable story of how he made his way from 7th child of a miller and farmer to academic and author. Yet this pilgrimage into the past is delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Scenes and images from Brandstetter’s childhood and youth in rural Upper Austria alternate with humorous observations on modern life, as well as notes on impressions gained and encounters made as an avid reader. His travels on the trail of his namesake Saint Aloysius provide a fitting framework for the intimately and vividly narrated reminiscences.
In her intensive and fast-paced debut novel, Kaśka Bryla tells of a shared history, of betrayal and of the power of friendship.
Roland K., multiple murderer and rapist, is serving his sentence in Berlin’s Moabit prison. His connection to Mania, the prison psychologist, seems deeper than a few therapy sessions might suggest. When Mania’s childhood friend Tomek disappears in Vienna, she embarks on a desperate search for him with the help of Ruth, a hacker. Thus begins a dynamically narrated race against time. Will they find Tomek? Does Tomek even want to be found? And what does any of this have to do with Roland K.? With courage and verve, Kaśka Bryla intertwines the enduring questions of guilt and forgiveness, good and evil, with an unexpected love story to deliver a gripping road novel.
Jay Immer lives the American dream – but is it really his own life he is living?
Jay Immer, son of Austrian immigrants, loving husband and a dutiful Chicago policeman, is 55 when the American dream catches up with him. He is elected to be the 40th president of the United States or, more accurately, his double. From that point on, he acts as a substitute for Ronald Reagan wherever Reagan can’t be – at shopping mall inaugurations and burger eating competitions, at parties and photo calls. But when Jay discovers his own voice and becomes involved in the environmental movement, cracks start to form in the idyll. Touching, highly topical and full of tragicomical humour, Clemens Berger’s narrative peers behind the facade of power and tells the unforgettable story of a man who stepped onto the stage of global politics to provide a swimming pool for his wife Lucy.
Blending irony and longing, Hinrich von Haaren brings to life the fragility and glamour of Germany's transition period leading to reunification.
Berlin before the fall of the wall, China before the massacre on Tiananmen Square – in a world full of irredeemable promises, a generation drifts along as it searches for a different life. Set in a wintry Berlin rich with dark taverns and opulent cafés, the narrator and his rag-tag circle of friends try to invent a new kind of freedom. At the heart of the clique is the dazzling Nina. She holds everyone in her spell, but is herself at the mercy of her inner voices and their dangerous insinuations. A one-way ticket to Beijing offers a way out. The narrator leaves everything behind and sets off to travel through a China in turmoil, but in this vast blue empire his attempt to forget remains futile.